'Downton Abbey' finale gives PBS best numbers since 2009

Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:15pm EST

The cast and crew of ''Downton Abbey,'' winners for outstanding miniseries or movie, and outstanding writing for a miniseries, movie or a dramatic special, pose backstage at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles September 18, 2011.  REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

The cast and crew of ''Downton Abbey,'' winners for outstanding miniseries or movie, and outstanding writing for a miniseries, movie or a dramatic special, pose backstage at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles September 18, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

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LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - "Downton Abbey" ended its second season on a high note Sunday, giving PBS its highest ratings since the September 2009 premiere of Ken Burns' "National Parks."

The second-season swan song of the British period drama drew an average 5.4 million viewers, excluding station replays, DVR viewings and online streaming.

The season two finale of "Downton Abbey" also improved on the first-season average by 25 percent, based on metered-market averages.

The second season of "Downton Abbey" has also proven to be a boon to PBS in the online realm. According to PBS, episodes of season two have been viewed 4.8 million times on PBS' digital portal, which bests season one's online viewing numbers by more than 400 percent. Overall, "Downton" content has racked up more than 9 million streams across all platforms, with 1.5 million unique visitors, since season 2's January 8 premiere.

Season two of the series premiered in January with an average 4.2 million viewers -- doubling PBS' primetime average, and an 18 percent jump over the first season's average for the series.

(Editing By Zorianna Kit)

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